What a time to be alive. Gone are the days of callanetics on VHS in the comfort of your own home. But does that mean that home exercise is a thing of the past? No ways! Home exercise is as popular as ever and thanks to more and more nifty fitness apps being developed, you are able to personalise your exercise, whether you are into HITT cardio, LISS cardio, yoga, running, cycling or totally new to exercise.
I trolled the App Store to find the best fitness apps out there. Wading through the hundreds of apps, I decided to narrow it down to three categories; The Newbie, The Yogi and The Jogger.
*I tested these on iOS, and hope you’ll have the same success on Android
If you are anything like me, exercise equals some quality me-time. That’s why I tend to go it alone. This app is for anyone who does not own a single piece of exercise equipment and it can be used pretty much anywhere and everywhere – even your own bedroom!
It makes use of a Facebook login, which means that you don’t have to spend ages filling in your information at sign up. You’ll only be asked to choose your gender, your fitness level and your fitness goal, which will enable the app to set up a tailored coaching plan for you.
You’ll also need to choose how many days a week you want to train, your focus and if you are into sprint and runs. The app is free for the most part, but if you are serious about using it to achieve your goals, it’ll set you back about R33 a week for a 6-month commitment.
I had a go at the Athena programme, with a difficulty set to 1 out of 3. The programme is aimed at your core and all-in-all took about 5 minutes. The programme was a combination of strength and cardio and pushed up my heart rate quite a bit.
Workout for Women: Fitness App
Not into long workouts? Or does an hour workout simply not fit into your superwoman schedule? Great news – this app was basically tailor-made for you! This app requires no sign-in, the design is simplistic and all the info you need is right there at your fingertips.
The exercises are divided into categories – Hot, 7 Minute, Beginner, Fat Loss, Butt, Abs, HITT and Body. Each exercise is illustrated by a cartoon showing you exactly what needs to be done. The app also gives you time for rest, counts down the final seconds, and makes you aware of the halfway mark. You are also able to track your weight by manually adding it to the app, it will then be extrapolated into a graph of a 1, 2, 3 or 6 month period, showing you your gains (or losses in this case) for the period.
This is a forever-free app, but that does unfortunately mean that you’ll get an advertisement pop-up every now and then.
Try it on iTunes.
This is one of my all-time favourite apps. Programmes such as ‘Yoga for back pain’, ‘Pranyama yoga’, ‘Sun Salutations’ and more, give you the opportunity to either try out yoga for the first time or carry your own pocket-size yoga instructor for use at your convenience.
Not only are you able to choose specific programmes; you can also choose your level, duration and focus. On top of the 75+ programmes (with new ones added weekly), the app also lets you create your own custom programme, with all your favourite moves and your specific needs. The app does have a free trial, after which you can choose a package and price that suits your pocket.
This beautifully designed yoga app gives you access to more than a 100 guided beginner-to master-level yoga and meditation videos with audio instructions. The app, which costs a fraction of a yoga class at more or less R530 a year, also allows for a Facebook login, although a separate email address is also required.
The app also has the ability to access your music library, making it easy to combine your favourite tunes with your daily yoga workout. Your workout is also sorted according to your interest, whether it is weight loss, yoga skills or health and therapy.
I attempted the 10 Day Beginner Tour, aimed at improving your yoga skills. It is a ten-day programme, and the app’s push notifications remind you of each day’s session. Before starting out, , the ability test is there to help you determine which programme would be best suited to you.
C25K 5K Trainer
I detest jogging in all its shapes and forms. I’ve tried it several times and every time, I just have the overwhelming feeling that my body just isn’t cut out for it. I tried the app, with all of this in mind. The app helps you train to run a 5k in two months. I tried one or two of the programmes they offer.
If you have never jogged in your life and are keen to see if you can do a 5k, this app is for you. The first few exercises are a combination of jogging and walking, that builds up until you can do the entire 5k. The app is extremely straightforward, with no extra gimmicks and I must say that it definitely keeps your eye on the task at hand.
Now, this is a running app I can get behind. This app is designed to gamify your running. With over 200 missions to complete, you won’t get bored any time soon. You can also incorporate your own music, which you’ll hear through your earphones together with some zombies sounds. If you hear the sound of zombies, you’ll have to speed up to avoid getting caught!
No need to head out, this app also works perfectly inside the gym, giving you the opportunity to live out your apocalyptic fantasies, together with your regular workout routine. While running, you collect supplies which can be used to build up your base and increase your level in the game.